Individual blitz-and-go bullet blenders for making juices and smoothies are a huge hit in the health world. Read the BBC Good Food review of the best machines on the market.
JML Nutri Blitzer
Best bits: Smoothest blend of all machines we tried, easy to clean and set up, additional milling blade for grinding.
Features: 700W motor, 2 x 650ml cups, 1 x 900ml cup, plus lids, 2 blade choices.
Comments: Endorsed by Olympic rower James Cracknall, this bullet blitzed our mix to a lump-free smoothness that was verging on silky. Our testers were impressed with the sturdiness, how easy it was to clean and also the additional milling blade for grinding nuts and spices. The large cup makes enough for two servings and the screw-on lid means easy fridge storage. A little more expensive than some models on the market, we feel the extra money spent made a massive difference to the end result.
Best for families
Best bits: Trusted brand that pioneered the ‘bullet’ blender, sensor that stops the blade when the smoothie is done, soup heating function.
Features: 1700W motor, short and long cups, plus soup pitcher.
Comments: This new addition to the Nutribullet family bills itself as one of the most powerful machines of its kind, and it does have excellent pulverization power. It’s one for committed smoothie makers who have been through a few cheaper models or for any household that wants to make larger quantities, though its size does mean it takes up more space than most. Kitchen tech heads will also be impressed with the way this model operates automatically and stops when it senses that the smoothie is done plus it comes with a special cup and heated element that makes soup.
Best multifunctional blender
Best bits: A blow-out multi-tasker that will help you cut many kitchen corners and save on buying an additional full-size blender.
Features: 800-950W motor, 600ml to-go container, 1.2l container, hammermill and cutting blades.
Comments: This ‘personal blender’ is very expensive for a smoothie maker but you are also getting one of the best blenders on the market by simply attaching a separate jug. Smoothie-wise the machine was very easy to use and we liked the variable speeds the machine blitzes at. If you’re in the market for a blender and smoothie maker then this is definitely better than buying two separate machines.
Why buy a smoothie maker?
The smoothie revolution keeps gathering pace, and making your own at home saves money on visiting expensive juice bars. It’s also a quick-fix way to taking in fruit and veg nutrients and the new world of petite personal blenders are easy to pack away and come with highly-portable cups.
What smoothie maker should I buy?
Bear in mind the frequency with which you’ll make smoothies. If it’ll be a daily thing for you, choose a machine that can be left out on your surface, or easily packed away. Fruit pulp can be a killer to wash up, so if you have a dishwasher it’s worth buying a blender with cups that are suitable. We tested 15 machines of varying prices and actually found that mid-range machines didn’t offer much in the way of value for money – cheap and cheerful machines are good for occasional smoothie-makers and people who might want to upgrade one day. Fervent fans would be wise to consider investing in something over £100 that comes with a warranty, as regular use does put the blades and motor through considerable strain, especially if using things like beetroot or veg with hard stalks.
What we looked for when testing smoothie makers:
The Good Food Lump Test: We placed several tough ingredients (half an apple, a banana, 20g ginger, 25g kale, 3 ice cubs, a tablespoon of oats and 2 pieces of frozen fruit, plus 400ml of water) in each blender for 1 minute. We then attempted to suck the smoothie through a straw. Anything that got stuck was marked down – the optimum result was a silky smooth mix with ease of flow.
Ease of use: Lots of people will move bullet blenders in and out of cupboards – we wanted machines that were intuitive and easy to set up.
Noise: We love smoothies in the morning, but neighbours don’t tend to like being woken up by industrial-grade mechanical noise. While all smoothie bullets make some noise, machines that spluttered, made notably loud sounds or noises similar to a clapped out car were judged unfavourably.
Extra features: Machines with different cup options, additional blades and smart blending functions were marked up.
Cup quality: Say no to leaky cups! We gave carry cups a vigorous shake to ensure no liquid would escape and ruin the inside of your bag.
Smoothie recipes and tips
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This review was last updated in January 2018. If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.